Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, April 2-8, 2011

The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the .” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

State Council Information Office: Reform of Monopolistic Industries

April 8, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to repost on both their front pages and headline news sections the article, “Reform and Attack of Monopolistic Industries in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan.”

国新办:垄断行业改革

国新办:请网站在双首页要闻区突出转载“十二五垄断行业改革攻艰”的文章。

State Council Information Office: SCIO Unveils iPad Platform

April 8, 2011-04-11

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to post in a prominent position the article: “China State Council News and Information Office Formally Unveils iPad App to Better Introduce the World to China.”

国新办:国新办亮相iPad

国新办:请各网站在首要位置突出登载“中国国务院新闻办正式亮相iPad 更好地向世界介绍中国”一文

State Council Information Office: The “Rights Maintenance” Peasant Zhou Decai

April 8, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to delete the posting “Proposal Offered to ‘Rights Protection’ (wei quan) Tobacco Workers Around the Country by China ‘Rights Protection’ Peasant Zhou Decai,” as well as all related information.

国新办:维权农民周德才

国新办:请各网站删除“中国维权农民周德才向全国烟草维权工人发出的倡议”帖文以及相关信息

State Council Information Office: The School Motto “Esteem Morality”

April 7, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to prominently post the article “The School Motto ‘Honor Morality’ Has Begun to Circulate Among Teachers and Students at Hebei Agricultural University (Hebei Nongda).”

国新办:“崇德”校训

国新办:各网站请突出转发“”崇德”校训融入河北农大师生血脉”一文

State Council Information Office: The Song Meat Pancake

April 2, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites, particularly those with video and audio channels, are to look for and delete the song Meat Pancake (Rou bing) by Gamahe Danzeng.

国新办:歌曲《肉饼》

国新办:请各网站,特别是视频网站和音频网站,检查并删除由噶玛和丹增创作的歌曲《肉饼》。

State Council Information Office: Plans for Japanese to Immigrate to Hainan Island, China

April 2, 2011

From the Ninth Bureau of the State Council Information Office: All websites are asked to monitor interactive spaces and immediately delete rumors similar to the following: “Breaking news: Japanese elites discussing plan to emigrate to Hainan Island, China.”

国新办:日本移民中国海南计划

国新办九局:所谓“最新特大消息日本高层已在商讨移民中国海南计划”系编造的谣言,请各网站注意互动环节及时删除类似谣言

In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the , which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (), which has established an “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.

This “Internet Affairs Bureau,” sends out very specific instructions to all large news websites daily, and often multiple times per day. Those instructions do not always mean that related contents are completely banned online, but they instruct websites to highlight or suppress certain type of opinions or information in a very detailed manner.

Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions, as well as other type of censorship orders to media and websites, as “Directives from the .” The  (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the Chinese blogosphere, it is the online nickname for the  and generally speaking, all other subordinate propaganda agencies including Internet supervision departments.

Today, it’s been said that news does not break, it tweets. For the officials in the the , the news is that their supposedly confidential instructions get tweeted as well.